FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention is related generally to a card game and, more particularly, to a side game to be played in conjunction with a game of blackjack.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In the field of gaming many different card games have been developed for use in both casual and a gambling settings. One of the most common games and a game most often played as a gambling game is Blackjack or 21. The basic game of Blackjack is well-known in the art. For example, much of the background and terminology known to those of skill in the art can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,845,981 (the '981 patent) issued to Ko. The end goal of this game is for a player to achieve, through their cards, a total value of 21 or less, but more than the value of the dealers cards. A “Blackjack” is when the two original cards, either the player's or the dealer's combine to 21. This is achieved through having an Ace, having a value of 1 or 11, and a ten value card, either a ten or a face card.
However, it has been recognized that in order to achieve the most interest in playing the game, it is beneficial to include side games along with the standard game of Blackjack. For example the '981 patent, discloses a side game that is won based upon the dealer busting and the amount of cards in the dealers hand or upon the value of the dealer's card alone or in conjunction with the players cards.
Another example of the side game is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,896,266 issued to Terminel. This patent discloses a side game for Blackjack wherein the player places a side wager that the dealer's up card will be a ten. Further additional payouts are disclosed. based upon the value of the dealer's down card.
While a vast array of different card games and Blackjack side bet games have been developed, a need exists for a side game for Blackjack that is simple for the player to understand, yet still provides added enjoyment of the main game.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the invention to provide a side game for a game of Blackjack overcoming some of the problems and shortcomings of the prior art, including those referred to above.
Another object of the invention is to provide a side game for a game of Blackjack that provides no or minimal impact into the decision making process in each hand.
Another object of the invention is to provide a side game for a game of Blackjack that adds additional strategy into the game yet draws conceptually on the already understood rules of Blackjack.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a side game that allows all participating players to win simultaneously.
How these and other objects are accomplished will become apparent from the following descriptions.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In a first embodiment of the inventive side bet game for blackjack a method for playing includes placing a main bet and a side bet. First and second card positions to be utilized for playing the side bet game are designated before the game begins. A dealer deals cards to the table including: a dealer hand with one up card and one down card and at least one player hand with two cards. The number of player hands is determined by the number of players at the table. Two of the cards that are dealt are in the first and second card positions for the side bet game. It is then determined if the cards in the first and second card positions combine to form a blackjack. If the cards in the first and second card positions do combine to form a blackjack the side bet is paid a predetermined amount. If the cards do not combine to form a blackjack the side bet is collected. It is preferred that this determination be done after the original cards are dealt but prior to the play of the remainder of the hand.
In preferred embodiments of that game the first card position is the dealers up card and the second card position is the dealers down card. It is preferred that in all embodiments of the game the predetermined amount is a ratio of the side bet. In some embodiments that ratio will vary based upon whether or not the cards in the first and second position are of the same suit or not.
A highly preferred embodiment of the invention utilizes a bonus card being dealt as well as the players hand and dealers hand. In certain embodiments, this card will be dealt face down and then exposed after all the original cards have been dealt to the players. The bonus card could then be utilized as the card in the first card position. In such an embodiment the dealers up card could be used as the card in the second card position.
In another embodiment of the game the predetermined amount is a first predetermined amount in order to incorporate a secondary side game. In combination with the side game described above a second side game can be played. In this secondary side game the cards in each players hand is used individually for the game. After the cards are dealt, it is determined if the two cards in the players hand combine with the bonus card to add up to twenty-one. If those 3 cards add up to twenty-one the side bet is paid a predetermined amount and it is preferred that the predetermined amount is a ratio of the side bet. Like the game above, it is preferred that this determination of the three cards combining to twenty-one be done after the original cards are dealt but before the hand is played to completion.
In the present invention, the term “card position” is utilized to mean a position where a card will be dealt. For example, in a game utilizing a bonus card and with only one player in addition to a dealer there are five card positions, a dealer card up position, a dealer card down position, a first player card position, a second player card position, and a bonus card position. Cards are then dealt to these positions.
Also, in the present invention the term “card” is used to describe any representation of the value of a traditional playing card. Thus, a card could be a traditional playing card, an electronic representation a playing card, or simply a number on a screen as a few examples.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In a preferred embodiment of a side game for a game of Blackjack, there are two separate side games played. In these preferred embodiments the games are played in a gambling type setting and bets of money are utilized. It is possible to have the bets be monetarily valueless, rather simply a bet between “dealer” and the “player” to see who would prevail. However, these preferred embodiments are described from a casino type setting. For the games described in these embodiments cards from a standard deck or a plurality of standard decks can be utilized. These decks could either be physical traditional playing cards or some electronic representation of the values of traditional playing cards.
Each player at a table places a main bet and optionally places a side-bet to make them eligible for the side games. Preferably the amount of the side-bet is determined by each individual game. For example, the side bet might be one dollar or might instead be a percentage of the main bet. In this embodiment the side bet is one dollar. Preferably, first and second card positions to be utilized for the side game are designated before the bets are placed and is part of the established rules for the game at the casino. In this preferred embodiment, a game between a dealer and one player is described and it is assumed that the player placed both a main bet and a side bet. In such a game there are five card positions to be dealt at the start of the hand: a dealer's up card position, a dealer's down card position, a player's first card position, a player's second card position and a bonus card position. The first designated card position is the bonus card position and the second designated card position is the dealers up card. Cards are dealt in a predetermined order to the dealer, each player and to the bonus card position, the bonus card being dealt face down.
Once the cards are dealt the two different games can be evaluated and played. The first game involves the two cards in the designated positions, the bonus card and the dealers up card. The bonus card is flipped over. It is then determined if the bonus card and the dealers up card combine to form a blackjack (i.e add up to 21). If the dealers up card and the bonus card combine to form a blackjack each the player (who did place the side bet before the hand was dealt) wins the first side game. It is most preferred that this win is payed in a ratio of 10 to 1 if the bonus card and dealer's up card are of the same suit and a ratio of 5 to 1 if the bonus card and dealer's up card are of different suits. Because the outcome of this first game is determined by the dealers card and the bonus card, if there were more than one player playing the side game all of those players would win simultaneously, this increases the sense of group play and makes for a feeling of “team play” in what is otherwise a fairly individual game.
After the first game is determined and any winnings paid, the second game is then determined. The value of each individual players cards is identified and combined with the value of the bonus card. If this combined value is twenty-one, that individual player wins the second game. It is most preferred that this win is payed in a ratio of 25 to 1 if the bonus card and player's cards are all of the same suit and a ratio of 4 to 1 if the bonus card and player's cards are of different suits. Both of these games have no impact on the overall strategy of how the player or players hands are played since all side games are determined prior to the play of the hands. After the side games are over the hand progresses per standard blackjack rules.
If the dealers up card is an ace, the dealer will then offer a standard insurance bet to all players. After offering insurance, the dealer checks the dealer down card to determine if the dealer holds a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack the hand is over according to standard blackjack rules and all bets are collected. If instead, the dealers up card is a ten, the dealer check the down card to determine if the dealer holds a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack the hand is over according to standard blackjack rules and all bets are collected.
If the dealer has neither a ten or an ace as the dealer up card, or after checking the down card the dealer does not hold a blackjack, cards are then dealt to each player according to standard Blackjack rules until each player has busted or chosen to stay. The main bets are then paid or taken as dictated by the rules of the game as known in the art; however the outcome of the final game as no impact on winnings from the side bet games.
While the principles of the invention have been shown and described in connection with specific embodiments, it is to be understood that such embodiments are by way of example and are not limiting.